SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder
Could there be a better name for it? Literally, you are SAD and it is due to the season. Clever. But it is real and even hits people during the summer months. However, this is the time of year when most people affected by SAD start to feel it creeping up on them. But there are answers and solutions that don’t require anti-depressants.
Stop dwelling – Stop with the negative feedback running through you head. We know that even in the summer months, it can be rainy, cold, and crappy and it sucks, A LOT! But stop thinking about it. You cannot control the weather or when the sun sets, but you can control your thoughts and your actions. Choose to think yourself happy, choose to be positive and choose to do things that make you happy. This is not always easy and you may need to speak to someone who specializes in this area to get you started. There is no shame in that. There is shame in not trying and choosing to just stew in misery because it takes less effort.
You deserve to be happy all year long and reading this is the first indication that you believe that too. If you do all these things with 100% effort and your depression is still severe enough to affect your relationships, ability to work and function on a daily basis, your depression may require further investigation from a qualified health care professional.
Read on for more ways to beat the blues:
See a Naturopathic Doctor – Sometimes your vitamin levels need to be checked and supplements adjusted. It is also good to proactively rule out other issues such as thyroid or hormone imbalances.
Get out – Even if it is cloudy or rainy, a short walk will lift your mood. Better yet, get involved with sports, take the kids or grandkids out and be active. Just get outside!
Take Naps – Getting enough sleep and staying on a consistent sleep schedule is always important, but sometimes a little nap (less than 45mins) can make you feel rejuvenated and give you that extra energy for the day.
Lighten up – Literally, lighten up your home. Open the blinds, turn on lights, or light candles. Also changing out drabby or dark colours for brighter ones like yellows, greens, pinks, etc. can really brighten your home. There is enough white and grey outside already!
Try light therapy – There is some debate as to whether this works, but just Google it and decide if it might work for you. Buy a special light and sit in front of it. Or just go outside!!
Change your diet – Stay away from carbohydrates and refined sugars. When you are feeling down, these are the things people often turn to, but it will NOT help in the long run. Fresh fruits and veggies, omega 3 rich foods and healthy fats are they way to go.
Ease up on the uppers and downers – Reduce your alcohol intake and don’t overdo it with caffeinated beverages.
Buy yourself flowers and plants – Turn your home into a little jungle. Buy some plants and add some green and life into your surroundings. Buy yourself flowers every week or so to give you that feeling of spring.
Make Plans – Just because it is gloomy doesn’t mean your social calendar needs to be. Make plans to get together with friends/family on a weekly basis. Book a spa session. Get a manicure/pedicure. Get your hair done. Go to a movie. Start a games night or join a bowling league. Go away for the weekend!
Throw a summer or Hawaiian themed party – Crank the heat up at home, wear your summer clothes, swimwear, and make some cocktails and cook on an in home grill. Voila, summer fun all-year-round.
Smile – Yes! For no reason at all, SMILE. This tricks your brain into feeling happy and before you know it, you will actually start feeling better. You are trying it right now aren’t you? Good!